Swenson, Ruth Ann
Swenson, Ruth Ann
Swenson, Ruth Ann, American soprano; b. Bronxville, N.Y., Aug. 25, 1959. She studied at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia. In 1981 and 1982 she won the San Francisco Opera Auditions, which led to her professional opera debut with the company in 1983 as Despina. In subsequent seasons, she appeared there as Gounod’s Juliette, Handel’s Dorinda, Meyerbeer’s Ines, Verdi’s Nannetta and Gilda, and Donizetti’s Adina. In 1988 she made her first appearance at the Lyric Opera in Chicago as Nannetta. She made her debut at the Opéra de la Bastille in Paris as Mozart’s Susanna in 1990. On Jan. 27, 1991, she sang in the gala concert commemorating the 200th anniversary of Mozart’s death with Raymond Leppard conducting the N.Y Phil. in a program telecast live to the nation over PBS. She sang Mozart’s Constanze at her debuts at the Munich and Schwetzingen festivals, and at the Cologne Opera in 1991. On Sept. 24, 1991, she made her Metropolitan Opera debut in N.Y. as Mozart’s Zerlina; returned there as Gilda in 1992, as Adina and Zerbinetta in the 1992-93 season, and as Rosina and Susanne in the 1993-94 season. In 1993 she won the Richard Tucker Music Foundation Award and made her debut at the Berlin State Opera as Gilda. During the 1994-95 season, she returned to the Lyric Opera in Chicago as Anne Trulove. In 1997 she was engaged as Gilda at the San Francisco Opera. After portraying Adina at the Metropolitan Opera in 1998, she returned there in 1999 as Lucia. As a concert artist, she sang in principal North American and European music centers. Among her other operatic roles are Cleopatra in Handel’s Giulio Cesare, Lucia, Martha, and Massenet’s Manon.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire